Taskforce to put historic changes to conference

NSW Farmers hopes to finalise an historic restructure this month launching the organisation into a new era of agriculture representation when members vote on substantial changes at its annual conference in Sydney.

The changes, proposed by NSW Farmers’ Restructure Taskforce, were driven by grassroots farmers and are the result of a member survey commissioned in 2011 and feedback to the taskforce in 2012.

NSW Farmers’ CEO Matt Brand said what was being proposed by the taskforce would help in transforming the association into a leading industry body representing farmers and rural and regional Australians.

“We have been on a mission for several years now to transform ourselves into an innovative and solutions focussed industry body. Although we have a long way to go, we are on an important journey and the changes proposed by the taskforce are part of that journey,” he said. 

“Our taskforce and the board have been working since 2012 on our structure, consulting with members extensively across the state, listening to how we can represent them better and reporting back at numerous meetings.

“Members have been telling us that the way they are working together in rural NSW had changed and they want us to change with them.

“The taskforce’s proposal reflects what members have been telling them.

“But, at the end of the day it is up to our members to decide what they want – not me, our board or our president. We are grassroots driven and what our members decide is what we will implement.”

A survey of members by the taskforce revealed that members thought the association’s three tier structure was obsolete.

What has been proposed is streamlining our representational structure from three tiers to two - local branches (replacing current branches and district councils) and electorates (replacing current regions).  Also proposed is that NSW Farmer’s annual conference and executive council continue as the main policy-determining bodies.

The other major changes include a proposal that the terms of executive councillors and board members be increased to two years and that all of annual conference delegates elect the board.

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 1300 794 000

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